Again, the sun. Again, the warmth. And amidst it all the warnings from the news: it is coming, the snow. It marches towards us with inexorable force and single, brute purpose.
So I went to the store and got - milk and toilet paper and bread? No. These things I have always; it’s the poorly-prepped person who hits the aisles as the flakes began to fall. I got cinnamon rolls, because I envisioned waking on Saturday to a world stunned and stilled, the roads impassable, the house warm and cozy, and we would have cinnamon rolls and listen to the wireless and perhaps play Monopoly.
“But I want it to stay like this,” Daughter said. “To smell like spring.”
Yes, I said. When the tulips bud and the trees green and the grass grows and spring arrives, but it’s fleeting, and then it’s summer, and then it’s the Fourth and it feels almost over and then it’s the State Fair and it’s really done and the trees turn again.
“As long as there is sentiment, time is not linear,” Daughter said.
I chewed on that.
“I just made that up.”
I know but it works. Nostalgia for sentiment, right? How you can always go backwards against the flow of time. Or forward, if you wish, but why would you.
No, the present will do; take it as it comes. Providing you’re not stunned to confusion and despair . . . as we’ll see now.
Boastful miserabilism is the only possible posture for a Person of Correctness.
The world feels exceptionally shitty. Given that I am only 28, my experience is limited, but this is as gloomy as I’ve ever known the world to feel. I haven’t been able to write much because I’ve been tired and afraid for over two weeks.
This establishes credibility.
But then, for a miraculous 24 hours or so, I was happy! We were happy! Why? Because Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter announced that she is pregnant with twins! TWINS. She didn’t do it in a boring, pedestrian way, no. She gave us a glorious photoshoot to share and adore.
And for a moment, the prospect of a border-adjustment tax and its impact on the economy, and the uncertainties it may create in the market, were temporarily dispelled.
Of course we can’t enjoy anything on this dumpster-fuck planet, because not hours later came tweets and posts criticizing people for being happy. Apparently we’re not allowed to simultaneously enjoy good news while being fully aware of how many of us are going to be affected by a Trump presidency.
So some people were critical, because the internet is full of people who live entirely to reprimand others for their failings. This is great when it's about the right things! But horrible when it's about the things some people regard with the supplicant posture of adoration. So there were some "salty white women" who wrong insufficiently respectful pieces about the Beyonce photoshoot. I skip to #2:
For the second piece, Leandra Medine, founder of the fashion blog The Man Repeller,
Okay, the what?
decided to project her own insecurities about not being pregnant onto Beyoncé, who in the past has admitted to suffering a miscarriage. She goes on to explain that we should remain “humble” and think about who we might be hurting with the announcement of our good news.
The Man Repeller piece said this:
Amelia called it the news (and photo spread) that could save us all in 2017.
And they make fun of Christians.
That is probably true for a lot of people but for me, it was a curiously annoying reminder that I’m not pregnant.
The Man Repeller author, after being duly rebuked, responded on her site:
I’m embarrassed that I exploited my personal upset for the sake of a shitty, misinformed think piece. I fucked up and I’m sorry.
The purpose of Man Repeller is to celebrate all women. To inspire and encourage, to think, to discuss — to make this place feel safe. That I could have detracted from that kills me.
And we can all admire the scalp hanging n the peg on the wall and move along now, and return to empowering, and never stop to consider that there is something rather . . . adolescent about some women’s constant to celebrate every aspect of female existence as if getting up in the morning is a statement.
Anyway, here’s the critique of White Woman #2:
While many white women fought for reproductive rights, black, latinx, and native women were fighting for reproductive justice as a result of forced sterilizations and eugenics programs in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
So do not ever shame a black woman for announcing her pregnancy simply because you feel as if it is a personal attack. Let black women celebrate maternity and pregnancy.
Let’s take this a step further: “so do not ever complain about Remote Event X simply because you feel it is a personal attack.” Seems to be a recipe for greater happiness, no? Do not take to the internet and get all pissy-huffy because someone said something. But that would ruin all the fun. Calm skies fill no sails.
(Sidenote: forced sterilizations and eugenics programs? Who’s being forcibly sterilized in 21st century? The link goes to a MS magazine article about modern-day voluntary sterilization, and cites this article, which appears to quote studies from the late 70s to the early 80s. So it might be a stretch to say “don’t criticism Beyonce because Latinx women are being forcibly sterilized in New York against their will in 2017.”)
We return to the briny broads who should shut up:
The third piece I came across is just as bad as the other two: “Hey Beyonce, as a mum of four let me tell you this isn’t what pregnancy looks like.” Yeah. Ok. Rosie Millard, another salty white woman, decided to shame Beyoncé for looking amazing. According to her, Demi Moore’s pregnancy photo was ok, but Bey’s isn’t because it’s not as approachable.
From the original Rosie Millard piece:
As a multi-layered image of perfect motherhood this image knocks Demi Moore’s Vanity Fair cover into a pair of maternity knickers. The Beyonce Bump is simply far superior.
She doesn’t say it’s not as approachable, she says that the Beyonce picture cannot be emulated by most mortals. And it’s a cheeky piece.
Where is the exhausted, haggard face? Where is the acne, where are the stretchmarks, where is the hopeless hair with grey roots showing (hair dye is frowned upon during pregnancy)? Where is the undefined bump which actually looks a bit like, well very like, a fat stomach? Where is the fat, moreover, which seems to appear everywhere (face, back, arms)?
It’s a brave woman who has the optimism to kneel down in front of a million flowers, get their wedding veil back on again, and know that bar the bump, the rest of their body is in perfect condition. People, this is not what pregnancy looks like. It looks great, but just not like this. Should you ever need confirmation (unlikely, I know) that celebs are not like the rest of us, but inhabit a totally weird world designed by Jeff Koons, Caravaggio and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, feast your eyes on this image.
(BBH is an ad agency.)
The author begins her conclusion thus:
I’m going to need white women to shut the fuck up with critiques relating to black women and pregnancy in general.
How about we need everyone to say whatever they want and then other people respond if they like, and pick apart the arguments, and have a dialogue? Otherwise we’re going to end up with a list of who can say what about what, based on skin color first and culture second, and that might lead to an author who describes herself as Desi-Kenyan being told to shut up about anything pertaining to other cutlures. And that would be wrong.
But for some people, it would be wrong to stifle outsider critiques because the critic of a culture knows it better than the people who inhabit it. Another writer on the same site:
No, I do not know everything. I do not cover every angle all the time. Sometimes, I’m flat-out wrong. But here’s the thing: I do know white culture. I know white culture better than most white people know white culture. I know white culture, white history, white politics. I know it better than you because if you knew why you were really in my DMs right now, you’d be embarrassed. Why do I know white culture so well? Because I’m a black woman. And while I, and just about any person of color who has spent their lives in a white supremacist society, know enough about white culture to write a book or two on whiteness and option the bestseller movie rights, y’all know almost nothing about us and even less about yourselves.
Okay. Tell me all about Victor Borge.
tl;dr: the moment you stop telling people to say something about something is the moment you give license to those who want to silence you for something else.
More of the work of C. H. Wellington, cartoonist mislaid by history. The man did love the comic potential of a crab:
You can just feel that, can't you? Damned thing will probably sever a tendon, and it'll roll right up and they'll never get it back and he'll be halt the rest of his days because it's 1916.
Week #2 of the remnants of East Liverpool, the former Ceramics Hub of Western Civilization.
This is quite an eclectic old fellow: the J. C. Thompson building.
You might call it a Painted Lady, if it was in San Francisco. But this obviously is not San Francisco, or there would be coffee places in this storefront and the rooms would rented to tech people at $9,000 per month.
Interesting concept on the left: the Reverse Bay Window.
Original glass on the right, letting in the sun. On the left, what they thought would be just fine, because they had buzzing florescents to give everything a cadavarous pallor.
A tour of its interiors - with items untouched for decades - can be found here.
Give me a B! Give me a P! Give me an O! Give me an E! What does it spell? Benevolent Protective Order of Elks!
That's a substantial portico - but it somehow seems lessened by its placement on a brick podium, doesn't it? I don't know, but it does.
I don't know what that Elk is emerging from, and I don't want to know.
Trotters: a hardware store.
The intrepid East Liverpudlian historical mavens take you inside the building, here. (It's the 3rd page in the series; go back if you want to see the basement.)
Nice old ad for Mail Pounch, and the local bank:
But nothing about this view says anything happens here anymore.
Abandonment can have a certain artistic quality:
Scant compensation, though.
The Donahey building - well, the old grey mare just hain't what she used to be.
It's the upper floor I find interesting - those are dead doors, and you know they led to a balcony. Did it extend all the way from one door to the other? You can see three small dots right in the middle, where perhaps a railing was anchored, dividing the two apartments. Or perhaps an old sign was bolted in right in the middle.
At least they had the decency not to paint over Mr. Donahey's name.
The Vitrolite's gone; we have only globs of glue to show it was there.
The interiors look untouched from 1914, according to these pages.
Not everyone took down the balconies.
An old sign for FOO? Yes, FOO: Fraternal Order of Orioles. They've moved the nest to another location.
Another look shows the building's condition:
You hope the next time the Google cars come through, it's gone. It's bad enough to be abandoned, but when something's in this condition and it still sticks around it's even more depressing.
Finally: here's a welcoming facade.
I'd say, oh, 67 - 74, if I had to guess.
There's more: have a look.
I hope it comes back some day.
There you have it; another entry, and the end of the week is nigh. Enjoy some restaurants, if you wish!